Final Fantasy XIV starts off the New Year and its next Chapter with a New Data Center, plans to add more Servers and a positive look towards the Future.
Once Again Available to New Players
That's right. Final Fantasy XIV is finally back on Sale. After the Launch of the latest Expansion; Endwalker, server congestion had been so high, Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida decided to halt the Sale of new copies. That happened in mid December 2021 — after the Game had already run out of Digital Codes back in July thanks to a wave of new players — which had made many Servers highly congested. At the time, no one expected such a sudden explosion in popularity. Now, Square Enix has outlined a plan to expand its current operation. With a number of new servers despite the global Semiconductor shortage.
Expansion of Operations
This server expansion will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase, planned for July/August of this year, will reshuffle the make up of the Japanese Data Center from three to four; increasing the number of concurrent logins.
Meanwhile the North American servers will be receiving a new Data Center in August. With four new worlds being added by then, plus four more worlds to follow in Phase Two; and an even larger expansion being planned for the next Expansion 7.0. On the European side of things, two new worlds will be added to the two existing Data Centers in July. With an entirely new Data Center featuring eight new worlds planned for phase two. (You can find a more detailed outline here.)
Data Center Travel
But don't worry about having to part with friends, in search of digital Homeownership or new worlds to conquer. Before the previously mentioned server expansion, Final Fantasy XIV plans to roll out its highly anticipated Data Center Travel System. Slated for release during the 6.1 cycle of patches, this feature will allow players to travel to the other Data Center's within their region. This feature was originally planned for release before Endwalker's launch. But the unexpected boom in popularity and server congestion forced the team to push the feature back. Besides minimal restrictions to chat functions; joining of Free Companies and Linkshells, players will be able to freely interact with each other. Further more, Cross Region travel is being considered by the Developers but not planned. (Check out more info about Data Center Travel here.)
Here's Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida's personal thoughts to close out the update:
Once again, I wish to apologize for the delays to server expansion caused by the global semiconductor shortage. The necessity for communities to separate due to the regrouping of Worlds is another inconvenience that may prove unavoidable for some players, and we ask for your understanding as we work to alleviate this issue.
Despite these hardships, however, we believe this server expansion is a significant step forward in providing players the best gaming experience possible in FFXIV. Work on bolstering the servers will continue well into 2023…we will do our utmost to ensure this endeavor has no negative impact on your ability to play, so we would appreciate your support while you continue on your adventures.
As mentioned earlier, we’re also hard at work not only on further job adjustments, but other exciting new content for the 6.x series, as well as plans for our next expansion (Patch 7.0)…
The Oceania Data Center: Materia
Presenting a #FFXIV-style map of Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the launch of the Oceanian data center, Materia! 🗺️✨
— FINAL FANTASY XIV (@FF_XIV_EN) January 25, 2022
With the Launch of its 6.08 Patch on January 25, Square Enix opens the Gates to their new Oceania Data Center — First announced back in May 2021 at the Final Fantasy XIV Fanfest Around the World. Until now, Players from the Oceania Region played facing high ping and were scattered around the World's Data Centers. Thanks to the opening of the Data Center these players finally have a place of their own to call home. Called Materia, its World Names based on the Heavensward Boss Trials.
DC Launch Day
A look on the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit, shows once more what the community is really good at. Memes.
Since Players couldn't transfer their Characters in the first 24 hours to claim their rewards they resorted to forming Cults and Free Companies around popular NPC's. There was already a range of tomfoolery going in within the first Day of the new Data Center; even the official Twitter Account got in on the Action.
it is funny because you made a pun with the wombat which is a short-legged muscular quadrupedal marsupial native to Australia found in forested mountainous and heathland areas of southern and eastern australia including tasmania and the lyrics from the ravana fight in final fanta
— FINAL FANTASY XIV (@FF_XIV_EN) January 25, 2022
If you haven't already, you can find details on how those Transfer Rewards can be claimed here!
It'll be interesting to see what kind of culture this new section of the community will form. With players formerly playing on Japanese and North American Servers coming together, there will definitely be some culture shock for some in terms of player etiquette.
Final Fantasy XIV's future is looking as bright as ever. With the next Letter from the Producer LIVE being planned for the end of February. Which will not only outline the 6.1 Patch, introducing the first of the New Alliance Raids and the afore mentioned Cross Data Center Travel system; but also outline Endwalkers Roadmap and what the Team has in store for future after Endwalker concluded Final Fantasy XIV's first major story.
Of course, we'll keep you updated on that!